Tuesday, October 21, 2014

2014 Himlung with Mustang and Saribung expedition - Khumbu shift

Phakding, Solu Khumbu, Nepal | 21 October 2014 | 0619 | 2715m

Jump forward a week, we've since moved the entire expedition to the Marsyangdi gorge, approached Himlung base camp, experienced a massive storm that claimed more than 40 lives, retreated to Kathmandu, and then flown to the Everest region yesterday.
We're now on approach to Nirekha peak, a gem of a mountain sandwiched between the Gokyo, Khumbu, and Changri glacier complex. We'll approach via Namche Bazaar ("Nauche" in Sherpa/Tibetan), the cultural and economic center of the Everest region.
Namche itself is an interesting place, having grown into a monetary economy over the past 15 years due to a tourism boom. Locals no longer work their fields, and many no longer own livestock either. This is an anomaly in Nepal's mostly subsistence economy.
Tibetans come over the Nangpa La (a pass from China's Tibet into Nepal) to sell their wares in the market of Namche. The last time I was in town 700 yaks arrived fully loaded with their owners goods; including jackets, hats, pots, and a menagerie of other items.
The salesmen remained in Namche until all their goods were sold in adjoining valleys, with Namche used as the center for trade side trips.
The skies are clear here, and there is no sign of the catastrophic weather of a week past. Our spirits are high, and we're ready to move on up. -Luke Smithwick, guide, Himalaya Alpine Guides, luke@himalaya-alpine.com

Thangnag, Gokyo, Nepal | 24 October 2014 | 0806 | 4700m
We are at 4700m on the left lateral moraine of the Ngozumba glacier. We will move to Nirekha basecamp tomorrow morning. Right now the team is resting next to the wood stove and preparing for a nice dinner in the heated lodge. Everyone is fired up to climb, and we just received a favorable forecast through the 29th October. -Luke Smithwick, luke@himalaya-alpine.com

Gokyo 3rd Lake | 28 October 2014 | 0637 | 4800m
Checking in from Gokyo. We had a nice climb of Nirekha two days ago, turning back 200 meters from the summit in poor visibility. Some of us are out climbing Gokyo Ri, and I'm down here in lodge with a giant pot of coffee, talking other climbs with one of the guests. We will trek over the Renjo La tomorrow and check out new territory.
Approaching the climb near the real Cho La.